GEORGE TOWN (March 14): IKEA, the Swedish-based furniture brand store, today opened its first outlet in northern Peninsular Malaysia at Batu Kawan, about 40 kilometres from here, reported Bernama.
Being the second largest IKEA store in the country at approximately 43,678 sq m after their outlet in Johor Bahru, the store is expected to cater for up to 6,000 visitors at a single time, according to store manager A Pathmalingam.
He said that for safety precautions, the store’s security team is restricting the number of visitors to the store to avoid overcrowding.
“I believe that we will have around 20,000 visitors coming to the store on our first day,” he told reporters after the grand opening here today.
Pathmalingam also said that his focus for the store is to stick to the vision of making everyday life better for the people as well as continuously seeking marketing opportunities.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said the launch of IKEA’s Batu Kawan outlet “highlights the global company's level of confidence in Malaysia”.
Lim said this the IKEA store “was an example of the ‘4P Partnership’, which is a collaboration between the public, and private sectors, the people and professionals”, reported Malaysiakini.
"It is my hope that our success in Batu Kawan can be replicated elsewhere in Malaysia so that we can raise the quality and quantum of our economic growth to be enjoyed by all Malaysians," Lim said at the launch of the mega store.
"With nearly a million households residing just within an hour's drive from the store, the opening of Ikea Batu Kawan will open up a new avenue for private consumption which will contribute positively to the regional economy," Lim was reported saying by the news portal.
The store is owned and operated by Ikano Group.
Also present at the launch were Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, IKEA Southeast Asia managing director Christian Roejkjaer, Swedish Ambassador to Malaysia Dag Juhlin-Dannfelt and Aspen Group founder Nazir Ariff.